Freedom From Depression:

God's light outshines the darkness of depression

Written by Luis Palau
Tags: Depression, Freedom, God, Psalms
I’ve come across several teenagers lately who are depressed. It really shakes me up! These kids are in the prime of their life and yet they are bogged down by chains of gloom, fear, and discouragement.

When one is depressed, darkness reigns inside. I’m no psychiatrist, but I see it everywhere. Adults of every age are suffering, too. It can really knock the wind out of you to consider the sheer number of people who daily live in this reality. It is not of the Lord. The Bible says: “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). Because He is light and love, by all means, He wants us in the light with Him!

So, what are we to do?

I take great comfort and find specific direction for overcoming depression in Psalm 23. (And, no, this Psalm is not just for funerals! Unfortunately, it has that reputation. But it is, in fact, wisdom for everyday life.) Let’s observe it together and find God’s guidance for living free from chains of discouragement. Together, let’s find freedom in God’s marvelous light.

Psalm 23:1 – “The LORD is my shepherd.”

Notice the word “is.” This verse does not say, “I hope the Lord will be my shepherd,” nor does it say, “It would be nice if…” Rather, it says that the Lord IS my shepherd. He is present, right now, as my skillful guide. Worries focus on the unknowns of the future, but when we stay present we find the Lord Jesus Christ right by our side, guiding patiently as a shepherd does.

Also note the word “my.” God is personal. He is mine. I need not take my woes to anyone else, but instead I go right to Him. When we meditate on the reality of His present, personal nature, we come to realize that we are exactly where we need to be… and we are covered. The rest of verse 1 states, “I lack nothing.” Or, “I have everything I need.”

This is not “Christianese”. It is truth. We are in the care of a skillful Shepherd who loves us. This truth can revolutionize our mental outlook!

How does the 23rd Psalm minister to you? Why do we tend to reach out to God more, when we are walking in hard circumstances? Reach out to God now, and reach out to other Christians. 

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God uses His power for His glory and our good.

God’s Power in Your Life: Power with Purpose
God uses His power for His glory and our good.

Written by Hope on 01/11/2016
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Power, Purpose, Glory, Good, Goodness
We know that God is always at work for the good of everyone who loves him. They are the ones God has chosen for his purpose.

Romans 8:28
God has forgiven you; God has taught you; God has empowered you to do His work. But what is the purpose of His work in your life?

1. It’s For The Glory of God:
Have you ever wondered why you exist? What is your purpose here on earth?

Jesus tells us what He wants from us: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind” and “Love others as much as you love yourself” (Matthew 22:37, 39). Everything we do must be to bring honor to the Lord. He empowers you to bring Him glory in your home, in your community, and in the world.

In all of human history, God has been trying to reach out to people; and He empowers His followers to show others His greatness, His goodness, and His love:

“Everyone on this earth, sing praises to the Lord.
Day after day announce, ‘The Lord has saved us!’
Tell every nation on earth, ‘The Lord is wonderful and does marvelous things!
The Lord is great and deserves our greatest praise!
He is the only God worthy of our worship’” (I Chronicles 16:23-25).

Our purpose — your purpose as a Christian — is to praise the Lord, “so at the Name of Jesus, everyone will bow down. And to the glory of God the Father, everyone will openly agree, ‘Jesus Christ is Lord!’” (Philippians 2:10-11).

2. It’s The Path of The Righteous Man:
Psalm 23 rejoices in the comfort and provision that the Lord gives His people. It talks about how He leads us to victory in spite of the overwhelming odds, ensuring us of His eternal love, peace, and life. All these things are good! But why does He do them?

The Psalm explains, promising that the Lord “leads me along the right paths” (Psalm 23:3). The Lord is true to His Word! He has promised good for His people. When people witness this goodness, they can recognize that God is great. “For His Name’s sake” shows that God wants to uphold this reputation, this fame, for being so good.

As you experience God’s goodness, He empowers you to bring Him glory. And God is glorified by the goodness in your life.

Pray this week:

Dear Lord, empower me to experience Your goodness and to bring You glory! Amen

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be Professional. be Personal. be Successful.

By The Guardian, UK

If all this swiping to meet contacts sounds too work-centric, Juan Imaz might have the service for you. The Madrid-based founder of beBee believes too many people are thinking too hard about finding contacts that do the same job as them, when actually the best business contacts can come about through shared interests.

BeBee’s focus is to reach out to people who share the same hobby or passion and might also want to do business together further down the line. Within its first year of launch, it claims to have attracted 11 million users, mostly in Spain and Latin America. Discussions are ongoing over launching the service in the UK.

“Whenever you meet a business contact there may be some chat about work and your industry but the main topics of conversation will be what your interests are and what you have in common,” explains Imaz.

BeBee’s focus is to reach out to people who share the same hobby or passion
The idea, he adds, is that people “form groups, or hives as we call them, such as ‘marketers who love football in London’ or whatever it happens to be.”

Imaz met many of the people he has hired through the site and regularly meets contacts in the tech industry through a group for people who love scuba-diving.

Ghostwriter Paul Croubalian believes beBee understands that business is about people and credits the service with providing the deepest engagement with potential clients, often through a shared love of food.

“Certainly it provides way more engagement than all other sites that I am on,” he says. “I recently earned a contract with a multinational with offices in North America, Europe and Asia. That is a substantial amount of business for me, worth about $150,000 over the next nine months or so.”

Whether it involves swiping right to arrange a coffee with a nearby contact or striking up a chat about a shared passion with a potential new business partner, this new generation of networking apps are making it simpler to do something productive – rather than just building a huge list of contacts you are unlikely to ever meet.

beBee is a professional network through passions. Personal interests generate more much engagement, deeper and longer business relationships. Join NOW!!   https://www.bebee.com/bee/franklin-coetzee

be Professional. be Personal. be Successful.

 

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The Way Out/ Sharing Burdens

Scripture:  “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.”  (1 Corinthians 10:13)

The Way Out

The same writer who said he was "crushed and overwhelmed beyond [his own] ability to endure" wrote this. It is a great promise to claim, but God never meant for you to withstand every temptation on your own. Don't remain within the depressing, discouraging or enticing temptation. Flee to the escape His faithfulness provides for you – that's not calling Him a liar when He says you can stand it – it's the definition of withstanding it.

Sharing Burdens

Your Christian family can help you escape. The Bible tells us to confess our faults – not just to Him but to one another. (James 5:16) Ask Him to show you what you might need help with

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Is Hell Real, and Is There a Way Out?

Hell has no exit door.

Written by Lois on 12/07/2016
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Hell, Heaven, Salvation, Jesus, Christ
No one can live forever, all will die. No one can escape the power of the grave.

Psalm 89:48
Is Hell real? The Bible tells us about two places, Heaven and Hell. Spending eternity in Heaven or Hell is our choice. (Revelation 22:17) Hell does not have an exit door, and is the destiny of everyone who is without God (2 Thessalonians 1:8-10).

Only Jesus can save us from that destiny. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

So what is Hell? Here are the three things that you need to know about what the Bible says about Hell…

1. What’s the reason that reason God made Hell?
Did you know that once there was war in Heaven led by a former angel? Revelation 12:7-9 says, “Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and his angels. And the dragon lost the battle, and he and his angels were forced out of heaven. This great dragon—the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world—was thrown down to the earth with all his angels.” Jesus later warns that the wicked who forget God (Ps. 9:17) and His people will go to “eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41).​

2. Does Hell Really Exist?
In Luke, we read about two men. One spends eternity in Hell and the other spends it in Heaven. The unnamed man in the story put his faith in money and went to hell. Lazarus, put his faith in Jesus and went to Heaven. “The poor man died and was carried by the angels to sit beside Abraham at the heavenly banquet. The rich man also died and was buried, and he went to the place of the dead. There, in torment, he saw Abraham in the far distance with Lazarus at his side” (Luke 16:22-23).

3. God’s Mercy Saves Us From Hell
The Lord does not want us to suffer in Hell. “For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us”( 1 Thessalonians 5:9). Instead, he offers the gift of salvation. Giving us the chance to be with him forever. “And they speak of how you are looking forward to the coming of God’s Son from heaven—Jesus, whom God raised from the dead. He is the one who has rescued us from the terrors of the coming judgment” (1 Thessalonians 1:10).

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Cut Out All Evil

Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour,
and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving
one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven
you (Ephesians 4:31-32).
In Deuteronomy 10:16, the Bible tells us to circumcise
our hearts: “Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your
heart, and be no more stiffnecked.” What does this mean? To
circumcise means to “cut out” something. To circumcise your
heart would therefore mean to cut out from your heart those
things that aren’t supposed to be there: bitterness, anger,
envy, hatred, malice, and all forms of wickedness. Some
people unwittingly allow these things in their hearts because
they’re ignorant of the consequences.
A bitter heart, for instance, is a breeding ground for
demonic activity. Not only that, most cancers come from
anger and bitterness. Proverbs 14:30 says, “A peaceful heart
leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones”
(NLT). People only become aware of cancer when it starts
giving pain and discomfort; they don’t know it most likely
started years before, when they allowed bitterness, anger,
hatred, malice, and envy to persist in their lives. That’s why the
Bible says, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without
which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any
man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness
springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled”
(Hebrews 12:14-15).
There’re people who have been wounded to the point
of tears, and with bitterness in their hearts, acted in a wrathful
Cut Out All Evil out the way. The Lord says to you today, “Circumcise your heart!”
Cut out the bitterness and the anger from your heart, for your
own good.
Have you been trying to stop the anger, or trying to put
away bitterness without success? You don’t have to struggle.
All you have to do is proclaim the Lordship of Jesus Christ
over your life: over your spirit, soul and body. Then declare, “I
choose to serve the Lord; I reject hatred, bitterness and anger.
I’m going to walk in love.” No demon of darkness can stand
against that. Satan can’t resist the power of love. The Word
declares, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out
fear…” (1 John 4:18).
PRAYER
Dear Father, my heart is full of
your love, kindness, and
compassion. I refuse to allow
bitterness, anger, or strife to take
root in me. I walk in love today
and always, confident that no
weapon fashioned against me
shall prosper, in Jesus’ Name.
Amen. 1 YEAR BIBLE
READING PLAN:
Acts 13:13-52
Nehemiah 9-10
2 YEAR BIBLE
READING PLAN:
2 Corinthians
10:1-7
Isaiah 17
FURTHER STUDY:
1 Corinthians 13:3 CEV
Mark 11:25-26
James 3:15-17
Pastor Chris

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